Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

A slice of banana cake with Nutella frosting on parchment paper

My banana cake with Nutella frosting is a fabulously moist banana layer cake made with toasted hazelnuts and topped with a thick layer of chocolatey hazelnut buttercream ~ oooh la la!

slicing banana cake with Nutella frosting

banana cake with Nutella frosting ~ now how could that be bad?

This amazing banana layer cake was first posted on the Great Island site in 2013, and it’s been a powerful food memory for me personally ever since. The combination of the perfect moist banana cake with that rich chocolate hazelnut buttercream is out of this world good. The 2013 version was just a single layer, which was fine, but doubling it really turns a great cake into a spectacular cake. Any banana cake or Nutella lover would be proud to have this for their birthday.

interior of a banana layer cake with chocolate Nutella frosting

banana cake with Nutella frosting shopping list

Lots, maybe most, of the desserts and sweets that come out of the Great Island kitchen are on the simple side. This one is more of a celebration dessert, and that’s ok, because sometimes that’s just what the occasion calls for. But all the ingredients here are pantry staples except the ground hazelnuts, the Nutella (depending on your pantry!) and the sour cream.

  • ripe bananas, about 6, which will be 3 cups after you mash them. This is the cake for those bananas that are so ripe and pungent you could swear you spilled a little bourbon into the batter. I like to wait till the last minute to use my bananas for cakes and breads ~ they get better with age, like fine wine or cheese…
  • granulated and brown sugar
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • all purpose flour
  • ground hazelnuts ~ find hazelnut meal or flour in well stocked grocery stores, or make your own by toasting and grinding hazelnuts.
  • baking soda and salt
  • vanilla extract

for the Nutella frosting

  • butter
  • Nutella ~ this is the reason you always want an extra jar of Nutella in the pantry.
  • sour cream ~ sour cream is in the cake and the frosting, so you know it’s going to be good 🙂
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cream or milk to thin it down
  • vanilla extract
a slice of banana layer cake with Nutella frosting with fork

that Nutella frosting!

The Nutella in the frosting makes it extra glossy and gives it that elastic quality that makes dramatic swoops and swirls.

With a frosting this good, I might be tempted to say it’s the star of the show, but no, in this case it’s all about that combination. Banana and Nutella is a match made in heaven, who knew?

frosting a banana layer cake with chocolate hazelnut frosting

my best frosting making tip

You can make frosting in your full sized food processor the easy way with less mess, and better, silkier results. Just dump everything in and process until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed. The powdery mess in contained in the processor, and it’s so powerful you don’t have to sift your confectioner’s sugar, or even bring cream cheese to room temperature before using. Lumps don’t stand a chance!

Banana cake with Nutella buttercream, on a bread board

banana cake with Nutella frosting FAQs

Can I use frozen bananas?

Yes, defrost them and mash well.

Can I make this cake in a 9×13 pan?

Yes, it should work well that way. You won’t need the full amount of frosting in that case.

Can I bake this in 8 inch pans?

There is too much batter for 8 inch pans, and three layers would be too tall for stability.

Can I make this as a single layer cake?

Yes, just halve the recipe.

What’s the best way to store this cake?

I store it on the counter for up to a day, under a cake dome. After that I would refrigerate it due to the sour cream component in the frosting.

Can I make this cake ahead?

I like to bake the layers the day before. I cool them completely and wrap in plastic wrap. The next day I throw together the frosting and assemble the cake.

Can I freeze this cake?

The layers will freeze well, just cool completely before freezing and wrap in plastic and then again in foil. Frost the cake before serving.

removing a piece of banana cake with Nutella frosting

we love baking with bananas

A slice of banana cake with Nutella frosting on parchment paper
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4.5 from 32 votes

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting ~ a fabulously moist banana layer cake made with toasted hazelnuts and topped with a thick chocolatey hazelnut buttercream ~ oooh la la!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 20 servings
Calories 630kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 2 9-inch non stick cake pans, at least 2 inches tall Do not use shallow pans for this cake, there is a lot of batter.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups well mashed bananas, about 6 medium bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts or hazelnut meal

Nutella buttercream

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 13 oz jar of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  • Set the oven to 350F. Lightly spray two 9-inch nonstick cake pans and line with circles of parchment at the bottom.
  • Cream the bananas and sugars together until smooth, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat until well mixed. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  • With the mixer on low, add the baking soda and salt, then the flour, a cup at a time. Fold in the hazelnut meal. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well to ensure everything is incorporated.
  • Turn the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist but does not have wet batter clinging to it.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake from the pan and continue to cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  • Frost the cool cake with Nutella frosting.

For the frosting:

  • Cream the butter, Nutella, sour cream, and vanilla, then beat in the sugar and cocoa powder. Mix in the heavy cream. The frosting should be thick and glossy, but spreadable. If you want to thin it down, add a bit more cream. If you want to thicken it, add a bit more sugar. Note: You can make frosting in your full sized food processor the easy way with less mess, and better, silkier results. Just dump everything in and process until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Frost the cooled cake and enjoy!

Cook’s notes

*First published in 2013, this recipe has been updated in 2022, along with new photos and recipe notes.

Nutrition

Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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51 Comments

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  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this looks dangerously delicious! What a brilliant idea to add the Nutella frosting.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Swiss Miss in the Kitchen
    April 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Oh my… This looks divine!!! You make me wanna run in the kitchen immediately!!
    xox Amy

  • Reply
    [email protected] Journal
    April 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Sue, I love nutella with banana. They are the perfect match! Love your idea of adding nutella butter on top, simply delicious!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks Ann, the Nutella frosting definitely makes this special, and I’m already dreaming up other ways to use it…

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 27, 2013 at 2:38 am

    5 stars
    Sue,
    Nutella Buttercream…oh my goodness….could there be anything more delicious….and that cake…yum! Lovely photos as always Sue!
    xo
    annie

  • Reply
    ahu
    April 27, 2013 at 1:14 am

    oh, absolutely stunning!

  • Reply
    Eva Kosmas
    April 27, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Oh man, I love that you ground up toasted hazelnuts and put them in the banana cake. That must taste absolutely amazing paired with the nutella frosting! SUCH a great idea, and I’m loving the texture of that frosting too. This whole cake looks just perfect!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    April 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    5 stars
    banana cake? my weakness, like BIG weakness. As in, i will purhcase bananas from the store pretending i plan to stick them in a smoothie, or on top of cereal, or whatever, fully knowing that i have no desire to do any of those things, because they are going to be a banana cake someday when they “accidentally” get to ripe for anything else. and i love different versions of banana cakes and bread; everyone always does something different, and this is a great pairing.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks, Shannon. To be honest, I don’t even like eating bananas, but when they become bread or cake, they haunt me!

  • Reply
    Amy
    April 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Oh my….I’m drooling over your pictures and description of this cake. I’ve made banana cake before…and Nutella buttercream, but separately. What a killer combination. I gotta give you recipe a try soon, real soon. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alison Burtt
    April 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I love this idea. I’m sure it’s super delicious. My problem is that even though I love banana and my husband loves banana, we have all these friends who are not banana eaters. One is even allergic! I guess what I’m saying is that I need some new friends.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I think I might have mentioned it before on the blog, but all my life I haven’t been able to eat raw bananas, they give me a bad stomach ache…so I learned that if I microwave the mashed banana for a minute or two before adding it to the batter, it somehow destroys whatever I have trouble with. It works like a charm, you might try it!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Waterson
    April 26, 2013 at 3:11 am

    I always use bananas that look so gross and hardly any yellow peaks through! It really does make the best banana bread/banana cake or banana anything! This cake looks absolutely stunning! The nutella buttercream must have just taken this over the top in all the good wayS!!

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